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H for He Stood Back: #atozchallenge Fiction

As a co-host, I begin with A to Z Challenge  reminders:
1. Turn off your word verification. It helps no one. You may moderate comments for a while if you’re unsure.
2. In your comment id, link only to your AZ blog, NOT your profile which may have 5 other blogs.
3. Leave a link to you when you comment.
4. Comment when you visit blogs. Start visiting with the blog below you on the linky list.
5. Make it easy for people to follow your blog and follow you on social media.

Today’s picture prompt and story starter (at the beginning of the story in bold) come from the awesome  Donna B McNicol
and I chose them because the picture spoke to me, telling me what it wanted me to write. I simply obeyed, and here’s what came out.

He stood back to admire his handiwork.
Each doll had had her own story to tell as she sat on his wife’s playroom shelf, the child-woman he had married twenty years ago. He had finally brought them down from the pedestals his wife had put them on, and shown them their place.

When she wasn’t bedridden, she found time to comb their hair, brush their dresses, paint their nails and pouts, but not for cooking him a pot of stew, or mending his shirts, or helping him at the shop. 

Beauty on the outside repelled him, be it his mother, the sluts he hunted, or these dolls. His wife’s deformity had saved her. 

Now that she no longer stood between him and the blasted dolls, his hands got down to what they had itched to do over the years– tear them, strip them and dump them, the pieces of junk that they were. Much like what he had done to the sluts of this town. His sweet little town had been so much the cleaner for his life’s work, and didn’t even know it.

He stepped back in to the house, away from the dolls, then looked back to admire the sight once more. If anything, this is what he liked about this doll’s graveyard—the fact that he could lay it out in his back garden, in plain sight. Not like the one by the river for the sluts who didn’t deserve a decent burial, but got one all the same. Well, work was work. If it needed to be done on the quiet with no one the wiser, so be it.

Full of pious intentions, he clicked the back door shut. It was evening, time for the sluts to be about. The town needed him to go hunting tonight. 
A to Z Stories of Life and Death
If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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